In 1963 the US Military had just finished its operations to evolve the face of close quarter combat. The evolution was the M16 Assault Rifle. Lighter in weight with its new plastic design, the M16 rifle changed close quarter combat forever. It is important to look at the political reasons for adoption of this weapon. John F Kennedy chose well in deed when he appointed John McNamara in 1961 for DOD (Department of Defense). McNamara was a “hand’s on leader with a strong organizational management background from the civilian sector.” [1] McNamara cleaned house making many changes to the US Army. McNamara was one of the largest supporters of the M16 for adoption into the US Army. Without the lobbying of McNamara, the M16 rifle may not have been adopted.

The M16 was chosen for adoption, not only because of its political support in the government, but also because of the technical innovations that separated this rifle from its competition. The only major concern was the slightly jamming problem that plagued the weapon due to its gas power operated chamber. This problem eventually get addressed by Congress as they selected another member of the M16 family, M4. However, in 1963 most politicians were more concerned about the M16’s actual visibility as a large scale combat weapon. The weapon does get adopted into the US Army and makes a significant impact on the war in Vietnam. Since its adoption into the U.S Army, the global force NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), has also instated the M16 rifle as its standard issued weapon.

 Below is a picture of a NATO soldier showing another soldier how to shoot the M16. [2]

[1] Danford Allen Kern, The Influence Of Organizational Culture On The Acquisition Of The M16 Rifle,, Pg 52, (Accessed April 20, 13).


Live Fire, Low Lay Phon,, (Accessed March 27, 13).